Josh Bell is in the lineup again tonight, giving him another opportunity to make a favorable impression on his new manager.
“We think he’s eventually going to be here, what I’m told,” Buck Showalter said. “It’s just a matter of, does he fit in our plans for the start of next year?”
The Orioles really need to figure it out before the free-agent market opens. They might have to find another short-term solution if he isn’t ready.
Another example of Showalter’s attention to detail: The magnetic board in his office that lists every player on the Triple-A and Double-A rosters. You can’t miss it as you exit the clubhouse. And you can be sure that the current Orioles have seen it.
“That’s just a familiarity thing,” he said. “We’ve got a pitching rotation calendar. I’m just trying to familiarize myself with them. To be frank with you, I just don’t’ know them. I’m trying to familiarize myself as much as possible. But something happened the other night with (David) Hernandez and we had to make a move, and we didn’t have it then. Plus, the roster sheets they give me, the writing is too small.
“I’m just trying to do what’s best for everybody.”
Is Showalter conscious of the image he projects to his players?
“Probably not as much as I used to be,” he replied. “Image is one thing, but the baseball season is such an exposer of reality. I’m not trying to fool anybody. It is what it is. What the truth is, you just deal with each situation and not be like, ‘OK, I want to do this so it won’t be portrayed as this.’ No, that’s not the case at all. Each day is a different challenge.
“I’m sure I’m a little bit more of a horse’s rear when we’re doing well than I am when we’re not. I don’t know. I have some close friends, some stuff they see or read and they kind of chuckle. They go, ‘Really? That’s not the guy I know.’
“I haven’t read anything since I’ve been here because I’m so involved here. I don’t think it really helps.”
Former Orioles pitching coach and manager Ray Miller, who will be inducted in the club’s Hall of Fame later today, mentioned how the Oriole Way was lost once the instruction in the minors didn’t match the instruction at the major league level. Showalter had this same discussion with Miller at yesterday’s luncheon.
“When they changed something, they were doing it the next day down there,” Showalter said. “We’ll have that. We’ll have that.”
I could have sworn that I spotted a twinkle in his eye. He was holding back a little, but he clearly believes in the importance of everyone in the organization being on the same page.